субота, 30. децембар 2017.

Линк за чланак на српском језику.

Date: December 30th 2017.

Basic ilustration

When looking at a map with two lines of suburban rail lines, many who have not lived in Belgrade can think that Belgrade is a city which is developing rail public transport. Almost like having a metro. 

Especially when new railway station Belgrade Center / Prokop is placed in the center of the system. But in practice, these views hide:

- Real target points for people's movement

- Zones where the railway has a great advantage over other modes of transport

- Part of built or planned infrastructure that is not used.

For this purpose, an additional illustration was needed.

Ilustration with explanations
The broader and narrower center of Belgrade is bordered using black. It is the place of the largest number of embassies, hotels, hostels, theaters, museums and other tourist attractions, administrative buildings of state institutions, the most important specialized high schools, faculties specialized trade and craft shops... Almost everything  what makes Belgrade the capital and metropolis. It is also a zone in which every working day in peak hours almost all streets are congested with automobile traffic, parking is limited in time, it is charged, and in spite of that, demand for parking places is higher than supply. According to official statistics, the only two railway stations in the central zone on the line marked in red, Karađorđev Park and Vukov Spomenik, generate about 60% of all movements on that line. Those two are metro-like stations with only two tracks and central platform, made for regional suburban trains only. The reason why Prokop is not covered by a circular line that signifies a broader center is that between these two there is a gorge in which the highway is. The basic requirement that Prokop functionally become part of a wider center is to make a direct pedestrian connection with a very slight climb between the ridge at the periphery of the wider center and the middle of the station, about 30 meters above the bottom of the gorge. Then Belgrade Center/ Prokop would directly serve the southern part of the wider center. That is the district of clinics and medical faculties. Unfortunately, there are no such links in official plans, and that is just one of parodoxis in planning of Prokop.

Business center is marked with a green circle.  It is part of Belgrade called Novi Beograd, which began to build before the Second World War on the former swamp. At the beginning of the development, that was a "sleeping district" without any events or atractions. But after the introduction of the tram in 1984, started the serious development of the hotels and commercial facilities. Especially after 2000, numerous companies are raising the business buildings and the largest shopping malls. The reason is very well planned area for construction, large and equiped lots, where investors have favorable conditions to build large-scale objects.

Insofar, the blue line on the map of the suburban railroad is out of logic.  The red line does not use even half the capacity of the two-track railway either in the center of Belgrade or in New Belgrade. Fortunately, at the end of 2017, the plan to use Beograd Center/Prokop as the end point of bllue line is canceled, and from March 2018 it will share a common route with red through the eastern part of the center of Belgrade.

Finally, a purple color is marked infrastructure, which current decision makers want to abolish for a couple of hectares of land more for private construction. Tetragon is the Belgrade Main Station. The new railway line with the railway station Prokop/Belgrade Center was designed during the 1960s as an upgraiding of the Old Railway node, which was then at the limit of congestion. In all plans, from then until 2014, it is planned that the New Railway Node will take IC and suburban trains, and that from the old railway station, regional trains and part of suburban ones will be taken. Since the last decade, the only railway station in downtown Belgrade is left to ruin, and also the track to it.  it seems as if it was deliberately planned that the railroad would go to oblivion to grab the land without resistance. Paradoxaly, because in all other countries of Europe, the proximity of big railway station is the biggest adventage for investors who realy are! In public there are three main spins:
- "Railway is a chain, which don't give to city the opportunity to spread out near rivers".
- "Passenger railway make aproximetely 100ha of land in the center of Belgrade unusable." (Now, when everything is demolished exept really needed for passenger rail, it is clear that that is only approximatly 6ha of 100ha.) 
- "The reason for building the New Railway Noad is to fully replace the Old Railway Node".

Potential extensions of the suburban rail network is marked brown. Those are existing two-track railroads to Pančevo, Stara Pazova and Železnik, one-track to Lazarevac, Mladenovac and Umčari and planned to Belgrade Airport and Višnjica. A double track is also planned to Mladenovac. If you want to serious frequency of trains to all four directions south of Rakovica, only two tracks from Rakovica to Prokop would be insufficient. This is just one of the reasons why there is no closing of the Belgrade Main Station in all planes before 2014. Other reason is to provide as many as possible direct and fast rides to the middle and west part of the center of Belgrade.

Discontinuous purple line is used to show the narrow track that was abolished in 1968 as "unprofitable." By abolishing the railway, the settlements through which the railroads passed were stopped in development. So even today, 80% of the inhabitants live on up to 10 minutes by foot from former railway stations. The enthusiasts from the Railfan Association conducted independent research and assumed a civic initiative to re-establish this railway corridore. The idea of ​​the initiative is to take this direction along the settlements on the right bank of the Sava River to Obrenovac, later through the Kolubara valley to Lajkovac, and by duplicating the track from Lajkovac to Valjevo with the correction of the curves, a new two-track railway for a speed of 160km /h.. Instead of suburban transport the idea is to make the shortest and fastest connection between Belgrade and 1.Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2.Western Serbia 3.Montenegro. An additional reason is that there is no double-track railway for the approach to Belgrade from the south-west. There are  from north-east, north-west and southeast. If the only railway station in the narrow center of Belgrade Belgrade Main Station is abolished, the effects of investments are reduced in many ways. Numerous studies have been done in the world on the phenomenon of the last kilometer by public transport.

Is the actual subway plan  a good replacement for the current only railway station in the center Belgrade Main Station?

One of the main pronouncements of current decision-makers is that all problems will be solved by subway with knot point on the almost same location as Belgrade Main Station. Very important to notice is that metro is proposed to go to many empty meadows instead to cover the most used transport corridores. They are saying: "that is the way to get huge money back from taxes on construction in those areas". Such a plan deviates from all previous plans, overpass directions with currently the highest ridership,  overpass the existing planned construction in relation to (never built) subway. In addition, this is the first metro plan in the history of planning, which does not cover any of the most important railway stations! When it comes to older plans, they all have almost complete planning documentation and decades of geological and traffic research. That is, they would require a minimum revision, and in a relatively short time it would be possible to access construction work. The current decision makers plan the abolition of Belgrade Main Station in December 2018, and planning documents for the newly created metro lines will not be ready before 2020. The practice of abolishing railroads and letting the promise why we started with collecting signatures for a petition. It's just the beginning civic activities to prevent Belgrade's infrastructure malfunction.

If the metro would be built under new plans, it wolud not solve the issue of long distance transport in a quality way. Even if the railway would be replaced by a metro, in the last kilometers of the city's access there would be an additional transit and generally, a total extension of travel time to the most important targets for suburban and long distance travelers, compared to possible with projected properties of existing track. Basically, the newly imagined metro line on central section is located on the place where there was planned central rail section (like Crossrail in London), with goal to serve a lot of different important locations of centar by suburban and regional rail. 

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